Retired insurance executive Ronald Dean McNeil was born on November 4, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan to Dorothy and Elijah McNeil, who both emphasized the importance of strong faith, personal accountability and education. While attending Wayne State University where he studied finance and business economics, McNeil answered newly elected Mayor Coleman Young’s call for more African Americans to join the Detroit Police Department.
After earning his degree in finance from Wayne State, McNeil joined the Allstate Insurance Corporation. He is well known and highly respected throughout the insurance industry and is considered by many to be an industry trailblazer. McNeil was the first and only black officer in Finance at Allstate. He was elected to four senior management team positions, served as chairman of two Allstate subsidiaries and was also president of three local Allstate companies. McNeil’s vision and innovation is reflected in his major accomplishments which include: 1) The Neighborhood Partnership Program--an initiative which redefined and improved Allstate’s relationship with urban communities; 2) The Product Operations organization which changed the way the company priced, underwrote and delivered products to the market place and is the foundation of Allstate’s multi-access business model; and 3) Creation of Allstate’s first integrated distribution organization where he completely reorganized all aspects of the agency value proposition by channel.
In March, 2007, McNeil retired from Allstate after thirty-one distinguished years of service. At retirement, he was Senior Vice President of Protection Distribution and a member of Allstate’s Senior Management Team with fiscal and leadership responsibilities totaling $30 billion and 70,000 employees, making him the industry’s first African American to attain such status. McNeil was personally responsible for the recruitment and/or development of more than a quarter of the most senior leadership group.
In retirement, McNeil and his wife, Regina, focus their time and efforts on The Ronald D. and Regina C. McNeil Foundation, Inc., a private, not-for profit foundation with a focus on providing educational scholarships.
Ronald McNeil was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 24, 2007.